Kanawha prosecutor focuses on drug indictments
CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Kanawha County prosecutor Mark Plants recently convened a special grand jury term to the indictment of drug dealers and drug users.
Of 70 people indicted late last month, 67 were charged with drug offenses. Plants said the indictments were part of a countywide strategy to target methamphetamine and other drugs.
"This is a focus to stop the drug trafficking," Plants said Wednesday. "If there are less drugs, there are less crimes."
For the past several months, Kanawha County officials have been working on a special substance abuse task force to look at the county and state drug problem. The task force recently came up with a list of specific recommendations, including suggested laws to require a prescription to buy pseudoephedrine, more treatment options for drug users and proposed changes to the state's drug laws.
"Attacking drugs requires a two-prong approach, the supply and the demand side," Plants said. "While I continue to attack drug suppliers, it's imperative that drug addicts receive supervision and services."
Among changes suggested by Plants to help fight drugs are making repeat misdemeanor drug offenders eligible to take part in drug court programs and making it a felony for a repeat offender to have more than three drug-related or violent misdemeanors.